THE popular presenter of a new farming podcast wants more to be done to help people understand how their food is produced.

Nick Wallis has recorded a 10-part series of The Future Farmer with Carlisle-based agricultural supplier Carrs Billington which looks at how modern farming can better harness technology and innovation.

Nick, well-known from his appearances on the BBC’s One Show and fronting C5 real life crime series, said: “I think public ignorance of the farming process is not something we should be proud of, but we are so disassociated from how our food got to our plates. There needs to be a much wider engagement between farmers and non-farmers at all levels of society.

“The problem is farmers deal with life and death and the public don’t want to think about that. That’s not a farming problem - our culture has a well-developed taboo around death.”

While recording the series, Nick said he had been struck by the openness displayed by almost everyone he spoke with on major issues.

He said: “I really got a sense there is a commitment to conservation, first class animal welfare and innovation. They understood trends in consumer demands, economic landscapes and changing technologies and wanted to be proactive in making their mark.

“I also got the sense that fairness was a huge part of the industry. Farmers and farm suppliers are already dealing with huge pressures, they just want the government and the market to be fair when introducing changes.”

The presenter and reporter has covered plenty of rural stories in his career but wanted detailed knowledge of the subjects his interviewees would be talking about so carried out a lot of his own research.

He added: “I’m pretty sure I could walk you through the pros and cons of robotic milking systems, the dangers of Sub-Acute Ruminal Acidosis, what makes a good tedder and baler plus the secret properties of Crystalyx even now!”

And the experience has left him with great respect for the industry.

“There is so much enthusiasm in farming! Everyone seemed to treat their job as a privilege. That’s rare and quite inspiring, actually. I hope I have done a little bit to help spread the word.”

Carrs Billington’s Head of Product Management and Marketing Sophie Smith said: “Our vision when launching this was to make episodes packed with information, but short and snappy enough they can be listened to while farmers are on their tractors in the fields or working elsewhere on the farm.”

“As a business we are passionate about providing specialist knowledge that can be a real benefit for farmers. We want to make that information as accessible as possible and Nick has certainly helped us do that.”

The Future Farmer is available on all major podcast platforms and Carrs Billington’s YouTube channel.

Episodes released to date include how to improve robotic milking systems, the financial implications of dry cow feeding and management and holistic approaches to forage management and grassland rotations.

Carrs Billington Agriculture is a leading supplier of agricultural products to farmers in the UK.

The business operates compound feed mills at Carlisle, Lancaster and Stone and has blend plants at Kirkbride in Cumbria, Micklow in Staffordshire, Lancaster and Wales. It has 28 Country Stores throughout Northern England, Scotland and Wales, several of which have machinery sales and service departments and fuel distributions depots.

Carrs Billington has a specialist team of nutritionists who formulate feeds in line with the latest research and development, constantly updating the range so there is a product to meet its customers’ requirements.